Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > Motorbikes


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 21st April 2017, 19:52   #586
BHPian
 
ron_9191's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 277
Thanked: 74 Times
Default Re: The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread

May be I am the last of the Mohicans here who dared to test ride the Himalayan. A couple of weeks ago, I had an opportunity to throw my legs over the Himalayan. I have a 2005 Electra 4S and I still live happily with it. It has got all the usual niggles that anything from RE has but my motorcycle has served me well so far and it has now become a part of me as I now know what exactly it is going to throw up on me. My bike hates really sunny and warm days but loves to be ridden in the night. So sometimes, the long rides to Kerala that I do mostly solo are usually done in the night. That is a little bit of background with my association with Royal Enfield.

However, the Himalayan to me was a disappointment when you consider the so called LS410 engine. Yes it is a new approach Royal Enfield is moving on to by getting rid of the only way they knew to move the intake and the exhaust valves, a push rod. I was glad, finally we have a RE engine that could rev hard. But my test ride was truly confusing. The bike that was handed over to me had done around 15k kms but surprisingly, I didn't find a single oil leak on it. Not something you'd expect from the new UCE engines. I've seen some new UCE ones with their engines literally hidden inside all the engine oil that has leaked out of it.

The Riding Experience

I am 5ft 9 and the seating was way more comfortable than my Electra. It felt like it was made for someone of my height. The handle bar was right where I wanted it to be and my riding posture on the bike was way more comfortable that I had imagined.

Pushed the button and almost immediately, the Himalayan was idling. And idling sounded like whatever parts went inside the engine both moving or not, everything rattled and clattered, unpleasant start already. The first gear fell in place with a loud clunk (I am used to it anyway) and then as I moved on, I realised that RE has done a splendid job with the suspension setup. The low down torque was a boon to make your way through the traffic and for a motorcyle of its category, it makes perfect sense. However, for a 400cc, the power was way too low considering a certain 373cc single called the 390 can literally have your pants of fire with its amazing performance. The power this thing had was just adequate for cruising and probably good when the road ends.

What annoyed me are a lot primarily the vibrations. It was way more than my clunky old cast iron example. In fact I felt that my motorcycle was a lot more smoother than the Himalayan. Beyond 80 kmph, it would have rattled my bones to a pulp. And then the fit and finish, Royal Enfield should understand that the brand name never stood for quality and it is high time they do something about it.

I liked the exhaust note though. It is nothing like anything from RE that you are used to. And when you let go of the throttle, it crackles and pops and does all sorts of things. Although the backfires sounded totally sporty, the other part of my brain questions was it running rich?

Handling

Luckily CVS Motors based in Bangalore gave me all the time in the world to test ride and one of the things I noticed was when the vibrations kicked in, it started rattling the front end and with the vibes in place, it was kind of difficult to control the motorcycle. I was surprised and towards the end of the test ride, when I questioned the guys in the showroom, they informed me that the bike had met with an accident couple of days ago and they had got it fixed and may be the front wheels are out of shape. I was annoyed by the fact that you give a motorcycle that met with an accident to a prospective customer and think you can lay your hands on his money? That is some confidence.

Styling

I like the way the Himalayan is designed. Everything in it has a purpose and they haven't overdone anything on it. Minimalist and functional. Plus with the plethora of optional extras, it would look brilliant if you are the sort of guy who crosses continents with this.

My verdict

No I wouldn't go for the Himalayan. It was a disappointing experience. Disappointing because of 2 main reasons.

1. Royal Enfield needs to spend a lot of time testing their new models. Because, they are catering to a market of millenials. The ones that are used to getting things done at the flick of a switch, a swipe or a touch. To them, a motorcycle with niggling issues immediately goes on the social media to create a negative image.

2. Royal Enfield also needs to ensure that the test ride motorcycles at their dealerships are in ship shape and atleast have the fuel tank filled up. Afterall, it is the test ride that seals anybody's decision to go for it in the first place.
ron_9191 is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 22nd April 2017, 15:39   #587
BHPian
 
The_Mad_Hatter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: KA-09, SoCal
Posts: 57
Thanked: 36 Times
Default Re: The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by ron_9191 View Post
What annoyed me are a lot primarily the vibrations. It was way more than my clunky old cast iron example. In fact I felt that my motorcycle was a lot more smoother than the Himalayan. Beyond 80 kmph, it would have rattled my bones to a pulp.
This is quite in contrast to what I experienced during my test-ride of the Himalayan. I didn't experience any vibrations until well past 100 kmph or about 5k rpm. Perhaps the accident you mentioned had something to do with it, as the bike has a counterbalance which is supposed to negate vibrations as much as possible. My CI Electra on the other hand, makes me feel like I've gone through a washing machine after a long ride.

But I do agree that RE dealers really need to keep their test-ride vehicles in good shape. While the test-ride model I rode wasn't all too bad, there were some loose parts like the exhaust heat plate creating some irritating clatter while riding.
I've offered myself up as a test mule for the latest iteration of the Himalayan as of now, though I've considered many times changing over to the Duke 390, with price and delivery wait-time being my main detractors.
The_Mad_Hatter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd April 2017, 15:52   #588
BHPian
 
ron_9191's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 277
Thanked: 74 Times
Default

Yes you are probably right about the vibrations then. I feel if KTM 390 Adventure comes out, the Himalayan is definitely going to go through some tough competition in this category. Although the Himalayan is a great start for Royal Enfield, they need to realise that the competition they have to deal with are a couple of notches above them with their offerings similar to the Himalayan. But all said and done what is a Royal Enfield without a few niggles anyway 😂
ron_9191 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd April 2017, 20:11   #589
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 938
Thanked: 160 Times
Default Re: The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by ron_9191 View Post
But all said and done what is a Royal Enfield without a few niggles anyway 😂
I guess this mentality needs to change for Royal Enfield (any company) to learn a lesson, to focus on quality and not take their customers for granted, to get rid of the chalta hai attitude.

Some people have filed cases against Royal Enfield for the pathetic quality and nagging issues in the Himalayan.
Torqy is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 24th April 2017, 13:03   #590
BHPian
 
ron_9191's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 277
Thanked: 74 Times
Default Re: The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread

@torqy I was totally sarcastic with what I meant about the Royal enfield's Royal niggles mate.
ron_9191 is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 24th April 2017, 13:36   #591
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Pune
Posts: 1,052
Thanked: 613 Times
Default Re: The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by ron_9191 View Post
However, the Himalayan to me was a disappointment when you consider the so called LS410 engine. Yes it is a new approach Royal Enfield is moving on to by getting rid of the only way they knew to move the intake and the exhaust valves, a push rod. I was glad, finally we have a RE engine that could rev hard. But my test ride was truly confusing. The bike that was handed over to me had done around 15k kms but surprisingly, I didn't find a single oil leak on it. Not something you'd expect from the new UCE engines. I've seen some new UCE ones with their engines literally hidden inside all the engine oil that has leaked out of it.
Wasn't the EFI one then. Haven't they launched the EFI versions to comply with BS4 norms?
Nilesh5417 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th April 2017, 18:58   #592
BHPian
 
ron_9191's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 277
Thanked: 74 Times
Default Re: The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nilesh5417 View Post
Wasn't the EFI one then. Haven't they launched the EFI versions to comply with BS4 norms?
Honestly, the Himalayan is better off without the EFI. I have been researching on the thing for a while now and it is so difficult to conclude on what this motorcycle is. Many people complain they are plagued with issues and in one of the videos shared in this thread, a guy's found more than 40 manufacturing defects. Yes it is an entry level dual sport motorcycle, but they could have done better is what I feel. Feel sorry for the Himalayan.
ron_9191 is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 24th April 2017, 19:42   #593
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 938
Thanked: 160 Times
Default Re: The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by ron_9191 View Post
@torqy I was totally sarcastic with what I meant about the Royal enfield's Royal niggles mate.
Maybe you were sarcastic. But the fact that RE had the (unbelievable) guts to sell an inadequately tested product shows that most of the "Loyal Enfield" fans were not. I love how the Himalayan looks. I just wish it came with matching quality. :(

A Himalayan owner told me how he got stranded with a failed coil on his new bike.
Torqy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th April 2017, 19:55   #594
Senior - BHPian
 
dkaile's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Meerut, India
Posts: 2,789
Thanked: 3,415 Times
Default

It is so sad to see so much negativity about the Himalayan, many from people who are not even actual owners of the bike. I saw one 37 minutes video of an owner named FAKIRA doing the rounds and was dismayed by his lack of technical knowledge when it came to deciphering problems. My prognosis of his issue was improperly installed fog lights which caused his wiring to short, which in turn caused the coil issue and battery failure. His wiring was never repaired properly after the initial wrong installation which caused him recurring problems. I feel he made that video with a view to blackmail Royal Enfield to give him a new bike. Though I feel sad for his ordeal but he has also made a similar video ranting about his issue with the State Bank of India.

Anyways I have posted a detailed post on how to install Fog Lights properly without cutting a single original wire on the Himalayan on my detailed ownership thread.

Coming back to the Himalayan, I feel it is the best bike for a terrain like Leh and even tougher Tso Moriri route. I covered the entire 3500 kms circuit without even as much as a puncture. Zero issues on the entire route. Mr. FAKIRA's bike must really have been a masterpiece or he was just plain unlucky.

Reliving some of my memories from both Tso Moriri and Pangong Tso done on my fantastic Himalayan -

The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread-1493043697433.jpg

The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread-1493043731265.jpg

The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread-1493043764155.jpg

Though the 'keeda' of upgrade has struck me too (just like when a new mobile phone comes) and I can't stop lusting for the 'Versys' for now, that in no way makes the Himalayan a lesser bike.

Cheers...
dkaile is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 24th April 2017, 21:23   #595
BHPian
 
ron_9191's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 277
Thanked: 74 Times
Default Re: The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread

@dkalie I genuinely love the Himalayan's design. And I own a Royal Enfield which I bought brand new 12 years ago. It has had its fair share of niggles but except for a couple of punctures (which I really don't mind these days as I can easily pull out the wheels front and rear) and a burnt wiring it has never let me stranded. All this is done by a machine that has an engine designed 50+ years ago is astonishing.

Now that is exactly what is wrong with the Himalayan. I have seen Himalayans with exterior part of the engine soaked in engine oil. Makes you think that there's more oil outside than what is inside. I have heard from my mechanic that there are some bikes where the clatter from the valve train is unbearable and prone to failure. I am glad to know that you are enjoying your motorcycling with the Himalayan and I truly wish it lasts a lifetime and probably put a big grin on your face every single time you throw your leg over it.

What is no so cool is the way quality takes a back seat at Royal Enfield these days. This has to change for an iconic brand like them. I guess this is where the negativity is mostly focused on and not at all on the Himalayan. Royal Enfield might have tested it, but clearly with the amount of issues reported, namely

1. Leaking head gaskets. My cast iron engine block started showing visible signs of leakage around 30k on the odometer. But there have been reports where the LS410 has failed before 5000 km

2. Clatter from the valve train. Considering the fact this is no more a push rod mechanism, it should be a lot more silent there, but it isn't. Clearly signs of bad engine design.

3. Overall fit and finish. welding joints on the frame are inconsistent and not finished professionally. For a machine that you pay almost INR200000 that is unacceptable. Compare that with the fit and finish of a KTM or may be any other motorcycle only on the price point as clearly there is no competition at the moment for the Himalayan, but when they do people will definitely compare and this is what RE should do to be really really successful with the Himalayan.

Like I mentioned before, I love Royal Enfield motorcycles. Particularly the old school ones. I really wish Royal Enfield does some proper testing on its engines and electronics.
ron_9191 is online now   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 24th April 2017, 22:42   #596
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Pune
Posts: 1,052
Thanked: 613 Times
Default Re: The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread

Cracked chasis are not new to RE and trust me, its not just the bikes sold in India. We were riding in Malaysia when a friend rented a C500 (coz nothing else was avalialble) and joined us by riding about 250kms. Even on butter smooth roads of Malaysia, he complained that the bike felt unsafe and there were just too many vibes. Next morning on closer inspection, we found the chasis to be cracked at not 1 but 2 places! And this bike was rented from the only RE dealer in KL and he said it was best bike for touring.

I think when RE wasnt such an aspirational thing in the 2 stroke days, people didnt expect quality and there werent these many on the roads. So complaints probably were from a few die hard fans or doodhwallahs. Today when RE is one of the sought after bikes and even the average IT joe with loans buys one for a ridiculous premium (doodhwallah cant even think of buying one!) just going by the brands aura, he feels cheated when the quality is so appalling by todays standards. He curses the fact that he ditched the 390 to get an RE. And the social media makes it so easy to share your angst with thousands of people in 5mins. So you now have lots of owners complaining with their issues reaching far and wide!

When home grown brands which have been around for no more than 2 decades can churn out motorcycles that get exported, RE seems to be largely banking on its luck and some shoddy engineering. I wonder how does Siddharth Lall paln to make RE a global brand with this quality of products? The 750 twin will need to be miles ahead of where Himalayan is even if RE expects to price it as poor cousin to Triumph. Poor doesnt mean poor quality is what they need to get right.

Last edited by Nilesh5417 : 24th April 2017 at 22:44.
Nilesh5417 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th April 2017, 22:59   #597
Senior - BHPian
 
dkaile's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Meerut, India
Posts: 2,789
Thanked: 3,415 Times
Default

I see so many heard from my mechanic, heard from my milkman, heard from my cousin (and even his dog) comments, it would be better if actual owners with actual problems make their voice heard. In most of the ownership threads on TeamBhp, I have heard of minor niggles and some pro-active replacements from the company. But I have not heard widespread discontentment with the bike. Serious owners with actual problems should come forward rather than make this thread one for procrastination.

Cheers...

Last edited by mobike008 : 25th April 2017 at 15:38. Reason: Corrected to Milkman. Please use English on forum for benefit of all. Thanks!
dkaile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th April 2017, 09:18   #598
BHPian
 
ron_9191's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 277
Thanked: 74 Times
Default

@dkaile I have been referring to the Himalayan and Royal Enfield generally. Whether you agree or not, the quality has been thrown out of the window for quantity at Royal Enfield unfortunately.

If I am not wrong I read somewhere that there is a new Royal Enfield made every minute. Business wise, RE has been very successful in the recent years. But a motorcycle with visible signs of oil leaks wherever 2 metal pieces are joined together with the help of a gasket and a couple of screws has to be something connected to bad machining or the guys at the factory are so busy churning out the numbers.

I have seen a Thunderbird 350 where the chain snapped at 80 kmph and got stuck inside the engine casing destroying the engine casing and dislodged the rear wheel from the axle. May be a one off case but I haven't come across any such stories like that. And like you rightly pointed out I am not an actual owner of the Himalayan. I wish I could but from what I came to know when I researched about it is unfortunately not favorable to my thinking. And mind you all what Royal Enfield has been doing in India before the UCE engines with the exception of the Lightning and the AVL engine Machismo and the Thunderbird was creating carbon copies of the old thumper that was made in Redditch.

The only innovations the got into the mix may be better electronics and a self starter. Realistically this LS410 is the second engine they have made from scratch in a span of 50+ years but to me with no disrespect to anyone or the new engines, the old ones just work. This ain't procrastination but I genuinely think that it might help people to think from the inputs I received from genuine people.

Last edited by mobike008 : 25th April 2017 at 17:11. Reason: Breaking up para for better readability
ron_9191 is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 25th April 2017, 09:52   #599
Senior - BHPian
 
dkaile's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Meerut, India
Posts: 2,789
Thanked: 3,415 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ron_9191 View Post
This ain't procrastination but I genuinely think that it might help people to think from the inputs I received from genuine people.
Mate, your whole opprobrium here is causing doubt and procrastination about a product we own. Are we not genuine people here on the forum owning actual bikes? I do not think your cavilling is genuinely helping people.

Yes, RE is not a perfect company and neither is Himalayan a perfect product. But for the price it offers so much more bang. Case in point being the Versys 300 recently launched abroad by Kawasaki at a price point of around 4 lac rupees. I agree that the engine of the Himalayan is not as perfect as say this Kawasaki but then so is the price not comparable. For the price point the Himalayan offers a lot. It is quite a reliable cruiser, custom made for one sole purpose. Royal Enfield has not overnight turned into a Japanese manufacturer but it is trying to get closer. It has to be appreciated that the company has started some sort of innovation. Accepted, that it's marketing is stronger than it's actual products, but new product development is still a nascent concept to this company. I would like to give it a chance to compete with the foreign competitors and become a better Make in India brand.

Cheers...
dkaile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th April 2017, 10:07   #600
BHPian
 
TorqueyTechie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Bengaluru
Posts: 537
Thanked: 736 Times
Default Re: The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread

Well the RE is sure having headaches with lot of bad publicity against its flagship product Himalayan. Here is one more. Apparently an engineer( I dont know how his qualification matters) has filed a case against RE as he got sold a lemon bike which has close to 40 defects.

Quoting from the source :
Quote:
The court has ruled in favour of the engineer and has asked Royal Enfield for a reply. The court took the decision as it found that the owner had to face issues like petrol leakage from the carburettor and tank, noisy engine, gear shift issues and engine oil leak. The first week report added hard gear shifts and even few breakdowns on the road.
Source and more info at Motorbeam.

I am not an owner of Himalayan but had just TD'ed the bike and would have plonked money on it if not for having to move my money for some other financial thing at the last minute. But having said that would I have been happy reading so many negative issues about this bike. Probably no! Whatever the price point is, QC is something which is quite alien to RE. But does it matter to them? I think no as they would have been happy seeing the sales figure at the end of every month , quality issues be damned.
TorqueyTechie is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Royal Enfield Himalayan, now launched! Tushar Motorbikes 837 20th March 2016 20:58
When did Royal Enfield become "Enfield"? pullin Motorbikes 1 25th June 2010 13:34
Royal Enfield Himalayan Odyssey 2010 - Registrations Open praveen_sathaye Motorbikes 2 6th April 2010 17:54
500cc Royal Enfield vs NEW 350cc Enfield scottoe Motorbikes 22 13th October 2009 16:47


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 20:26.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks